Friday, 16 September 2016

How to lose a good shop girl part 1: in ten seconds

Colleague Cockney wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea; she couldn’t spell (deciphering her messages was an interesting task), she had a foghorn voice that was drenched in nicotine, and she talked incessantly. Her cockney accent also drew comment (mainly from shop colleagues and The Boss Erratic, it has to be said, who were a bit sniffy).

Photo: 947051: Pixabay
Communicating with Colleague Cockney via phone was very different to communicating with The Boss Erratic (aka TBE). She liked to chat, in real time. 

In contrast, TBE does everything by text (it is not unusual for me to not see or speak to TBE for three or four months at a time. But that’s another post – I’ll let you know when I’ve written it).

Still, Colleague Cockney was new, and she was learning. She was fine in the shop on her own (there is only ever one person in the Out Of Favour shop at any one time), her attitude was good; she was cheerful, popular with customers and she had a good work ethic.

But Colleague Cockney got the sack. I am reliably informed it happened like this:

Colleague Cockney rang TBE and said she wanted to meet up to discuss things. TBE became confused. She couldn’t understand why Colleague Cockney insisted on the need to talk face to face – unless it was regarding something very serious and very bad. TBE convinced herself that Colleague Cockney was going to hand in her notice. TBE never likes to be caught on the back foot. TBE likes to get in there first; to have the upper hand; to have the last word.

So when they met, before Colleague Cockney could utter a word, TBE announced,

“Before you say anything, I have to say, I don’t think it’s working is it? Perhaps we both should move on.”

As soon as TBE said it, she knew she’d made a huge error of judgement. Colleague Cockney looked horrified. It wasn’t what she was going to say at all, quite the opposite. She just wanted a catch up with her boss because, as she was quite new, she thought her boss might want to know how things were going. After all, it’s normal to catch up with your boss every now and then isn’t it?

Well yes, it is, my poor, innocent colleague; if you’re in a normal retail job. But you’re not. You’re working for TBE. I’m afraid you’ve inadvertently poked the bear, and it’s come out fighting, as it always does.

TBE tried some pathetic back-peddling by suggesting that if Colleague Cockney was, in fact, actually happy in her job (thereby trying to suggest this had been done for Colleague Cockneys’s wellbeing), they should both take some time to think about things.

Apparently Colleague Cockney couldn’t get away fast enough. And I don’t blame her.

So there you have it: a masterclass in how to accidently sack a member of your staff.

Of course, at the time, I couldn’t possibly imagine the degree to which this situation would affect me personally, but it did. Oh it really did (see: How to (almost) lose a good shop girl part 2: in five weeks).

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